Application to Gender is Burning

In the article Gender is Burning, Judith Butler explains that gender is something that you can choose as part of your identity and that everyone is born with a clean slate. Choosing gender as part of your identity has no limits. That doesn’t necessarily fall under the choice of choosing to be a transgender, but it also includes homosexuals who would just like to be called or looked at as the opposite sex or homosexuals who don’t care what they are called rather it’s “he or she”.
My professor introduced a YouTube clip to me from the reality television show called RuPaul. RuPaul is a show based on Drag Racing which involves drag queens, trans genders and homosexuals. In this particular clip, there are 6 individuals who are either homosexual or transgender and each of them takes a turn and “reads” the others in a fun but criticizing way. I found that this scene from the episode RuPaul relates to Judith Butler’s argument very well because they all show their personality by what they are saying and also by choosing their gender preference.
This video clip relates to Butler’s argument because each person in the scene chose to act, dress or talk in a certain way that fits their personality. They allow others to call them feminine word such as “girl, bitch, or mama” which is another part of their identity that they choose to include. Some of the girls in the show chooses to be feminine to a certain extent. By a few comments that they make, you can tell that they are not necessarily trans genders, but rather homosexuals who choose to be called “girl” as a part of their identity.
One girl named Tatiana shows her personality when reading the others. You can tell she chose to be more feminine by the way she acts and carries herself compared to some of the other girls. She chooses to wear makeup and earrings which is known by society as more feminine characteristics. When she reads the others, she also includes a different form of her identity which is shyness. It seems to be difficult for her to criticize the others because she is shy and feels uncomfortable. All of these characteristics, including her choice to be more feminine than others, is all part of her personal identity.
Another girl named Juju Bee expresses her identity in a unique way. She is also feminine but not as much as Tatiana. She has her own level of feminism which makes up her individual identity. She personally shows her feminism through her actions and the way she talks. She also includes another form of identity when criticizing others by including her culture. When criticizing one of the other girls, she includes the Chinese language because her race is Chinese. All of characteristics, choosing to show her feminism in a certain way and including her language when reading one of the others makes up her own individual identity.
There are many ways to create your own identity. According to Judith Butler, gender is one way. Because everyone is born with a clean slate, you are able to make up your identity as you grow and experience different things. Butler argues that even though you are born a certain gender, you do not necessarily have to act upon it, but rather choose to be a different gender or choose a gender preference. Not everyone has to show the same level of masculinity or feminism. That is something that you can also chose to include into your own identity which makes you, you!
Many people in our society today look at homosexuals or trans genders and are either disgusted or feel sympathy for them. One of the questions that possibly come across their minds is “Would it be easier for homosexuals and trans genders to live their lives as the gender they were originally born?”. In my opinion, it all depends on who this question is being ask to.
Society is very cruel. When someone chooses to be a certain gender, act in a different way, have different morals etc. society always reacts in either a negative or positive way. When society reacts to something or someone in a negative manner, bad things could occur such as the safety of individuals and harassment. If you ask society? Yes, it could be easier for homosexuals and trans genders to live the lives as the gender they were born as because society won’t have to worry about people who act outside of the norm. They won’t have to learn to accept something they don’t believe in and they won’t have to worry about other members of society judging them for accepting something that other society members do not.
When it comes to homosexuals and trans genders, it is not easier for them to just “live the lives as the gender they were originally born”. Although they would have to face the negativity that society brings, it would be harder to keep who they really are inside. They would not the same opportunity to dress, talk, act or love just as heterosexuals do. Not being able to express your identity and be who you really are has to be one of the most difficult things in an individuals life.
According to Judith Butler, gender is something that you can choose to make part of your identity. Many people agree with this statement and take full advantage of it rather society accepts them or not. RuPaul is an excellent example that really gives a deeper understanding to Butler’s message because all 6 of the girls express themselves in different ways, including the choice of being considered a girl, which create their own individual personalities and identities.


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